Podcasts for EMS Providers

In today’s on-the-go society, sometimes it’s difficult to stay current with the newest ideas and best practices in the ever-evolving world of medicine. Many EMS providers work two or more jobs and have very little downtime. Is there really any time to keep up with all of this information?

The average American drives over 13,400 miles per year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 1990 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey. Is there a way to maximize that time along with other potential unused time to stay current with changes in medicine?

Podcasts are a digital media source, usually audio but sometimes containing video components, that allow listeners to hear about a given topic. According to Edison Research, one-third of Americans have listened to at least one podcast with 17% of users listening in the last month, and over 60% of podcast listeners use their smartphone to hear the content. In fact, many smartphones have pre-installed apps that allow users to subscribe to their favorite podcasts and receive notifications when new episodes are available.

Although providers could learn plenty from TED Talk podcasts or by following their favorite national news network podcasts, how much of that truly helps our clinical practice? We’ve compiled a list of podcasts that are applicable to clinical practice, many of them affiliated with the FOAMed movement. FOAM stands for Free Open Access Meducation, or medical education, and it’s an idea from the emergency medicine/critical care arena to provide medical content that’s available anytime and anywhere that’s independent of platform or media. FOAMed includes blogs, podcasts, tweets, etc., as long as they’re free and available to anyone.


These podcasts revolve around EMS providers working primarily in ground-based emergency transport. The podcasts in this section are driven by topic, news and/or research. All of the podcasts hosts are actively involved in EMS as providers, educators or medical directors. Beyond clinical components, these podcasts often incorporate operations topics.


Website: www.mediccast.com

Podcast: www.mediccast.com/blog/subscribe-for-free

You “don’t need no stinkin’ transmitters” to take a trip with the Podmedic, Jamie Davis, as he talks with industry leaders about what’s new and exciting in EMS. MedicCast takes on topics concerning both volunteer and paid EMS providers, ALS and BLS providers, and issues affecting fire-based, third service, private and hospital-based EMS. Whether he’s talking about suicide awareness in EMS, tidbits from the most recent national EMS conference, or how Trek Medics is bringing EMS to all ends of the world, the Podmedic discusses some of the most interesting topics going on in the industry.


Website: www.cpc.mednet.ucla.edu/pcrf

Podcast: www.fisdap.net/podcasts/pcrf

Have you ever wanted to participate in an EMS journal club to discuss the most current research in EMS? Then this podcast is a must! Join the folks from the Prehospital Care Research Forum as they meet regularly for their journal club to interact directly with authors of recent studies along with some of the most research-oriented minds in our industry. If you’re unable to listen in on the live session, all meetings are recorded and archived to listen at your convenience.


Website: www.emsofficehours.com


Jim Hoffman and the crew at EMS Office Hours review clinical and operational topics to help EMS providers in their daily practice. Topics include discussions on backboards along with techniques for communicating with patients. One thing that Jim and his crew do very well is making themselves open for Q&A through a variety of mediums. They even have full episodes dedicated to Q&A sessions where new providers can ask seasoned professionals their burning questions about the industry.


Website: www.informahealthcare.com/journal/pec


The PEC Podcast is operated by doctors from the National Association of EMS Physicians. The hosts discuss recent research articles published in the journalPrehospital Emergency Care with the authors. The hosts do a great job of discussing the article and explaining how it applies to field providers and medical directors. The hosts stray off topic at times, but the discussions are always interesting and they provide a unique industry perspective.


Podcasts in this section are primarily aimed at physicians who work in emergency medicine or critical care medicine. However, a vast majority of this information is applicable to prehospital providers or those in critical care transport. The podcasts in this section are almost exclusively clinical, often heavily research-based and extremely interesting.


Website: www.emcrit.org

Podcast: www.emcrit.org/category/podcasts

Scott Weingart, MD, has developed a cult following of multidisciplinary, evidence-based medicine enthusiasts who regularly watch him on various social media platforms and eagerly wait for him to put out his next blog and podcast. EmCrit has shown how the power of social media can drive research when a team of pioneers took the idea of delayed sequence intubation to the masses to formulate a plan, and ended up with a peer-reviewed study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.EmCrit appeals to physicians, paramedics, nurses and a wide array of healthcare practitioners with its procedural videos, evidence-based medicine content and use of edutainment.


Website: www.lifeinthefastlane.com

Podcast: www.lifeinthefastlane.com/resources/podcasts

Life in the Fast Lane is responsible for the FOAMed revolution and is a key player in the Social Media and Critical Care (SMACC) conference, which turns all its lectures into free podcasts for the community. This podcast is physician-driven with a focus on clinical knowledge and skills from a vast array of internationally renowned physician podcasters. Academic Life in Emergency Medicine social media index regularly rates this podcast as No. 1 worldwide. With its extensive clinical education library, tips for technology use, current evaluations of research and so much more, there’s no doubt why it’s seen as the leader in the FOAMed community.


Website: www.tamingthesru.com


Taming the SRU (“shock resuscitation unit,” pronounced “shrew”) is run by the emergency medicine residency at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine. It’s used as a tool to supplement their residency education and as an adjunct to help train orientees with UC Aircare/Mobilecare. Eager providers will be inundated with a wealth of information since Jeff Hill, MD; Bill Hinckley, MD and their crew post grand round synopsis and journal club synopsis, plus topics in EMS, critical care transport, emergency medicine and so much more. This program does an amazing job of providing a one-stop shop for any healthcare provider working with acutely ill patients who wants to learn what’s new, what’s current, and what’s best practice.


Website: www.medscape.com/emergencymedicine

Podcast: www.medscape.com/public/social

If you’ve worked in medicine for more than a few weeks, odds are you’re aware of Medscape. Medscape is a fantastic resource for healthcare providers. It also has a very active social media presence, which includes a diverse array of podcasts. The emergency medicine podcasts themselves are extremely informative and current to what clinicians need to know. One of the things that truly makes it unique is that podcasts are available in over 30 different medical specialties. If you have a specific interest in neurology, for example, you can subscribe to the neurology podcast as well as the emergency medicine podcast.


The realm of critical care transport encompasses pieces of prehospital medicine, emergency medicine and critical care medicine. However, it also possesses unique challenges. As the need for readily available education for flight and critical care paramedics increases with educational requirements, these providers must be able to easily acquire quality information.


Website: www.prehospitalmed.com

Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcastprehospital-retrievalmedicine/id515752374?mt=2

PHARM lets providers follow flight physician Minh Le Cong as he discusses a wide variety of issues that affect critical care transport. Whether he’s discussing current evidence, talking about emergency airway interventions, debating checklists or debunking myths about ketamine, this podcast is always informative with discussion points that will have you question your assumptions or positions on controversial topics.


Website: www.flightbridgeed.com/


FlightBridgeED is the brainchild of flight paramedic Eric Bauer. Eric’s company provides review courses and test prep material for individuals who are planning to take a transport credential exam such as the FP-C, CCP-C, CFRN or CTRN. His podcast helps supplement the courses he offers and is an excellent resource for individuals who plan on taking a specialty certification. Practicing clinicians who’d like to brush up on things that are new and exciting, or that they haven’t seen for a while, will also find this useful.


These podcasts offer a wide variety of content for EMS providers and anyone dealing with acutely ill patients. As you listen, you’ll notice crossover between the categories. Make sure you check out the show notes of the podcast episodes for more information about what was discussed.

In the spirit of FOAMed, share your favorite podcasts and become part of the discussion. Share them on Facebook or Twitter and across other social media platforms. The goal is for providers to have quality education anywhere at any time.

Learn more from Keith Widmeier at the EMS Today Conference & Exposition, Feb. 25—27, in Baltimore, Md. EMSToday.com


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